Recommendation: That the Executive recommend to the Chief Executive Officer that using his emergency delegated powers he approve the revised Elective Home Education policy and procedures, replacing those previously approved in 2016, in order to reflect the new pathway and statutory requirements.
A report of the Corporate Director –Children and Young People’s Service, proposing the replacement of the existing EHE Policy & procedures agreed in 2016.
County Councillor Patrick Mulligan introduced the report, confirming there had been a significant percentage increase in the number of children being home educated, as detailed in paragraph 2.3 of the report, but that number only equated to 1% of the total number of children in school. Attention was drawn to the recently completed internal review and its associated outcomes, as listed in paragraph 3.2 of the report.
To reassure members, County Councillor Patrick Mulligan also drew attention to Appendix D of the revised policy which summarised the main features of the legal options open to the local authority if it was satisfied that a child was not receiving a suitable education at home.
Members considered the revised policy and procedures presented as part of the report. They also noted the DfE advice note issued to local authorities in November 2020, the outcomes of the internal review and the appointment of four EHE advisors.
Stuart Carlton, Corporate Director – Children & Young People’s Service confirmed the revised policy would provide a strengthened pathway to ensure a decision to home educate was been taken for the right reasons. He confirmed his view that a national review of the guidance was required to enable Authorities to have a higher threshold on what suitable home education was.
County Councillor Janet Jefferson welcomed the revised policy and agreed a national review was required to address the loopholes in the government guidance.
Finally it was confirmed that the four newly appointed Home Education Advisors would start to look at the suitability of the home education being provided by 850 families across North Yorkshire currently, prioritising those that were open to children and social care or those that had a EHCP in place.
Executive Members agreed to recommend to the Chief Executive Officer that using his emergency delegated powers he approve the revised Elective Home Education policy and procedures, replacing those previously approved in 2016, in order to reflect the new pathway and statutory requirements.